Notes: The 2005-2007 Xterra appears to have a widespread defect where coolant leaks into the transmission, causing transmission failure around 90,000 miles. Repair costs are typically upwards of $3,500.

The same defect exists in the Pathfinder & Frontier as well. And according to the New York Times & a class action lawsuit, the defect actually extends through 2010 model year. More info here.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
88,015 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2005 Nissan Xterra seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2005 Nissan Xterra Owner Comments

problem #11

Mar 262015


  • 120,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that when the vehicle was started, the air bag warning light intermittently illuminated. The failure occurred every time the vehicle was started. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 08V690000 (air bags). The approximate failure mileage was 120,000.

- Selma, AL, USA

problem #10

Oct 212014

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 116,922 miles
The airbag light began to blink in the dash, and the passenger airbag sensor was not engaged upon starting the vehicle.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #9

Jan 032015

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
I lost control of my truck on black ice, traveling about 35 mph. After sliding sideways for a bit, the vehicle was stopped by a tree, directly into the rear driver side door. The tree caused the side windows to smash and about a 8-10" indentation into the roof and the vehicle occupancy compartment. The side curtain airbags did not deploy. Luckily the driver window smashed away, and my head did not impact the window. Also, luckily there was no one in the rear seat, again, as there was no side airbag deployment. The side airbags definitely should have deployed in such an accident. In short, the side airbags failed!

- Cary, IL, USA

problem #8

Feb 012013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles


Passenger airbag light on. This was a recall on many cars depending where they were built but I seen they were including all the Nissan/pathfinders 2005. Never received a recall. It had been fixed and went out again!

- Slidell, LA, USA

problem #7

Nov 072014

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 123,150 miles
Turned on vehicle and the air bag light indicated there is a malfunction. The vehicle was parked all day and the light was not blinking on the way to work. The vehicle has not been in an accident. On Dec 29, 2008, a recall (NHTSA 08V690000) for 2005 Xterra vehicles. Maryland (md) and the District of Columbia (DC) were included on the list, but northern Virginia was not listed. The reason the air bags could malfunction was due to areas with a heavy concentrations of road salt in the winter. Northern Virginia is surrounded by DC & md, the snow covered all the surrounding areas. The salt is heavy on the roads in va, DC, & md. Request Virginia be included in the recall, to exclude northern Virginia was nonsensical.

- Oxon Hill, MD, USA

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problem #6

Jun 162014

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
The passenger side air bag light started blinking even with the seatbelt on properly. This vehicle had never been in crash once or ever. I am very concern.

- Apo, AE, USA

problem #5

Dec 302013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 134,090 miles


Traveling at 45mph car hit curb and was then diverted to median where the front bumper hit a large tree and the passenger air bag did not deploy. Passenger was severely injured. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #4

Oct 112012


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan X terra. The contact stated that the air bag warning light illuminated. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who stated the vehicle was out of warranty due to the mileage and the VIN was not included under NHTSA campaign id number: 08V690000 (air bags:frontal). The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician stated that the front passenger air bag was effective and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000 and the current mileage was 82,000.

- Novto, CA, USA

problem #3

Jan 032011


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Xterra. The contact was driving 20 mph when the vehicle started to jerk violently and there was an abnormal increase in engine rpms before shifting into gear. The contact also mentioned that the air bag warning lamp was illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnosed that the radiator and transmission fluids had mixed erroneously and both the transmission and the radiator would need to be replaced. In addition, the belt tension sensor would also need to be replaced in order to repair the air bag system. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who offered to waive the fee of diagnostic testing. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 70,000 and the current mileage was 87,000.

- Los Angeles , CA, USA

problem #2

Feb 242010


  • 50,000 miles
Defective airbag sensor for 2005 Nissan Xterra. Recall on NHTSA id # 08V690000, dated 12/18/2008. Had sensor replaced by Nissan dealership on April 9 or 10, 2009. On 02/24/2010 airbag lights for driver and passenger came on, owners manual states the airbag is non-operational and needs serviced. Will this be on the prior recall" will this be a new recall? will I need to take responsibility due to a prior recall"

- Valley Bend, WV, USA

problem #1

May 272007

Xterra 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,000 miles
Airbag system failure light goes off and passenger airbag does not activate when passenger is in front passenger seat. Airbag may not deploy in an accident. First time I was told it was a lose connector second time I was told the computer had to be reset. Third time I was told the computer was replaced. It is now back in Nissan service for the forth time.

- Coral Springs, FL, USA

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